sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters


In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

So there’s an impolite conversation that I have not made a regular or explicit part of this blog, partly because it is well-done elsewhere, partly because I’m covering stuff that I feel compelled to write about, but I feel like it needs mentioning. Bodies/size/acceptance, especially for women, is a huge and unmentionable issue in our culture. People like Stacy Bias have done a world of good for exposing the shaming, body-negative stuff around weight loss in the US; I wanted to mention here that Elizabeth Tamny over at The Extender also has some good and useful things to say. Here’s what I think:

our culture is kind of a mess. Bodies and comfort therein make a tremendous difference in how we approach stuff like sex and love. Is it possible to be unhealthy because one is overweight? Yes. Is it possible that there are other reasons (stress, anyone?) that one might have a heart attack or high blood pressure? Yes. Likely, in fact. And whatever you think you know about someone because of how much they weigh, you don’t. You just don’t. There’s so much you might not know, it’s not even funny. So assuming that it’s lack of discipline or lack of exercise or any other kind of lack in the other person, instead of a lack of open-mindedness on your part, is presuming a level of knowledge that you almost certainly don’t have. What if you assume the person is strong, healthy, and beautiful?

And what if you assume that about yourself?

  1. Yes! It’s so funny (and NOT in the “ha ha” way) that this is the topic that gets hashed and rehashed on Feministing time after time after time. Somebody will post something on, say, ABC Family’s new TV show ‘Huge’ entitled “Unapologetic fat people, coming soon to your living room” and all you have to do is sit back and watch the commenters attack each other.

    And this is on a FEMINIST website!

    There’s the same arguments over and over since I began reading Feministing years ago. “Women should be taught to love their bodies.” “Being overweight is unhealthy. We don’t encourage underweight people.” “This is totally a feminist issue.” “This is so not a feminist issue.” “Why does a supposed feminist site encourage young girls eating themselves to an early grave.” “What if she’s just genetically predisposed to he heavier?”

    It’s to the point where I don’t even look at the comments for those posts anymore, and still I know exactly what they will say, and usually in what order.

    I’m always glad to see body acceptance promoted and I still cannot believe how controversial it is. I mean, honestly, WHY sit behind your computer and judge? Why NOT accept that you cannot know and just… stop judging? I have seen the commenters and staff over at feministing do a 180 on lots of other topics, from trans rights to rap to chick flicks. But this? This promises to always bring controversy and show me sides of people who, otherwise, I feel like always have intelligent and thoughtful things to say.

  2. thanks for the nod, Leela!

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